Marketing and Consumerism

Consumerism is a social movement wherein the consumers come together to fight against the malpractices of a business operating in the society. Thus, consumerism may be defined as a movement which seeks to increase rights of consumers or buyers by fighting injustice and eliminating practices which are unfair for example: miss-branding, adulteration , fictitious pricing, faulty and deceptive packing, misleading advertisements.

Consumer education

An educated consumer is an aware consumer. A consumer who knows the various ways in which he can be short charged will be on the look-out for situations and hence protect himself. It is important for the consumer to be educated about various organisations and laws that can help when he feels he is being cheated by a business.
There are three aspects to consumer education-
  1. Being aware of wrong marketing practices.
  2. Being aware of the laws and legislation that are passed for his protection.
  3. Being aware of consumer organisations that working to protect consumers.
In India, at Central level, the Department of consumer affairs has been set up which aims to protect the rights of the consumers. Also, bodies like these will promote the standards of goods and services and also seek redressal to consumer grievances.

Consumer education is a right that aims to protect the consumers from business houses that sell products and services in order to satisfy consumer needs and wants..Consumer education is basically provides the consumer with all the information about his rights as a consumer and also his duties. It involves three parties: Consumer, Business, and Government.

Consumer education is a very important aspect amongst the buyers. Consumers should be informed so that they make good buying decision, as the decision they make affects both the consumer and the economy. This education is gaining relevance with every passing day due to the rapid growth of products in the market.

A complaint can be filed at the nearest designated consumer court for infringement of consumer rights under the following circumstances:
  • The goods or services bought by a person has one or more deficiencies or defects in any respect.
  • A trader or a service provider resorts to unfair trade practices with the consumer.
  • A trader or a service provider charges a price in excess of the price displayed on the goods.
  • Goods or services that pose a risk to safety and life of the consumer.
For example, you go to a shop and buy a packet of milk. When you open the packet of the milk at home, you find out that the milk is spoilt/contaminated and is yellow in colour. In this case, you shouldn’t just throw away the packet and buy another, but file a complaint against the shopkeeper. This is what a consumer aware of his rights does.

Marketing and consumerism

Consumerism seems to be increasing every year, as every company is trying to secure a place for itself. With ever increasing competition, marketing efforts are increasing and hence it has a direct impact on the bottom-line of companies. It’s essential to stay alert as many companies are prone to using unfair means by way of wrong or ambiguous information about their offering in a bid to increase their profit margins.

Consumerism is emerging at a very rapid rate and this directly affects the way companies position their products and services in the minds of the customers. The medium of information is becoming more and more realistic and genuine so that people know exactly what to expect and are not under any misconception which could eventually harm their brand value.

There are numerous laws that intend to protect consumer rights and interests, but still the companies themselves have a lot more to do when it comes to consumer protection.

Firms are becoming more consumer‐oriented rather than product‐oriented and that has directly increased their consumer base. Because of providing a clear means to convey information and understanding their customers, these companies are able to identify their consumers’ problems and hence deal with it in the best possible way.

Governments, both at the Central and State level have done a lot towards generating awareness amongst the consumers .Now, it is our responsibility as consumers to be aware of our rights and not get duped by malpractices of companies.

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